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Benghazi conspiracy theory flies following Petraeus resignation

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

CIA director David Petraeus resigned today citing an extramarital affair, but the timing of the move — late on the Friday after the election — has some people questioning that explanation.

“Petraeus resignation,” media titan Rupert Murdoch tweeted. “Timing, everything suspicious. There has to be more to this story.” Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham floated the idea that the resignation has something to do with the handling of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“COINCIDENCE?!” Ingraham tweeted. “Petraeus is set to testify NEXT week at a closed door session on Capitol Hill ab[ou]t Benghazi. Did [President Obama] push him out? This stinks!” The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that Petraeus will not testify during that hearing, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller.

Last week, the CIA issued a statement denying that the CIA refused to provide reinforcements to the consulate personnel under attack in Benghazi. “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate,” according to a CIA spokesman.

That statement was a response to this Fox News report that “sources who were on the ground in Benghazi [said] that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”

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